The monkey puzzle tree felled on 15th March was one of three large trees identified in the woodland as being Dead, Dying or/and Dangerous (DDDs) and a tender process started to understand what best next steps forestry specialists would take for each of these specific trees and the cost implications of this.
During December 2022 four specialists were consulted at tender stage (Heartwood, Robertsons Tree Care, Taylor Trees and Weir Forestry) and all confirmed that this monkey puzzle tree was dead. They considered that the onset of disease was more than 10 years ago and the total canopy death was 4 years old.
This monkey puzzle has been discussed for potential felling since July 2020 when it had total needle loss. Due to the proximity of the Castle Drive which is one of the high use areas of the woodland the decision was made to contract out the felling of this dead tree to control bringing it to the ground safely.
There remain three other healthy monkey puzzles nearby. Coincidentally (and before felling took place) the trust has been offered a juvenile monkey puzzle tree to plant. Note that monkey puzzles are not native trees and would likely have been planted as ornamental trees supplementing the formal gardens of Polmaise Castle.
Please see our communication of 9 March 2023 for photos and more information where we gave advance notice of this tree to be felled and other tree safety work.